Bacterial infection a common cause of sepsis!
Macrolide is a class of natural product consisting of macrocyclic lactone ring with one or more deoxy sugars having antibacterial and antifungal property. Macrolide antibiotics are the protein synthesis inhibitor having broad-spectrum activity (active against both gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria).
Azithromycin is a chemically modified form of erythromycin (first macrolide antibiotic) with easier absorption and fewer side effects (as erythromycin has a higher risk of Gastrointestinal side effects).
Azithromycin is a broad-spectrum macrolide antibiotic active against both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. It is a schedule H (prescription) antibacterial drug.
USFDA approved Azithromycin in 1991 for medical use. In the National List of Essential medicines (NLEM) by World Health Organization (WHO) azithromycin is listed as a safe and most effective drug for the treatment of bacterial infection. Nowadays, it is widely available in the form of generic medication.
It is prescribed in the form of oral tablet, capsules, eye drops, extended-release oral suspension and intravenous preparations.
Therapeutic use or Indications:
It is used for the treatment of mild to moderate bacterial infection including Community-acquired pneumonia, acute bacterial sinusitis, ear infection, eye infection, genital ulcer disease, pelvic inflammatory disease, sexually transmitted disease (STD) and infection to urethra, throat, cervix, tonsils and skin.
Azithromycin can be prescribed as monotherapy or in combination with other antibiotics for the effective treatment of bacterial infections.
How do Azithromycin works?
Azithromycin is a macrolide antibacterial agents. It prevents the growth and multiplication of bacteria by stopping the bacterial protein synthesis. It binds to the 50S ribosomal subunit of bacteria and inhibits the translation of mRNA (a step of protein synthesis in bacteria) thus, kills the growing bacteria and treats your infections.
Side effects related to Azithromycin:
USFDA approved Azithromycin as a safe and effective antibacterial agent. Like other medicines, Azithromycin can cause some adverse effects, although not everyone gets them.
Some common side effects: nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, loss of appetite, headache, dizziness, loss of taste sensation.
Severe side effects: it includes chest pain, irregular heartbeats, the ringing of ears (tinnitus), temporary hearing loss, vertigo (unsteady feeling on feet), severe stomach or back pain and severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis).
Warning or Contraindication:
- Do not take Azithromycin if you have a prior history of an allergic reaction
- Azithromycin should not be taken if you have ever had a liver problem or jaundice caused by taking this medicine.
- Tell your doctor if you have ever had: liver disease, kidney disease, myasthenia gravis (weakness of muscles), heart disease like arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat), hypokalemia (low level of potassium in the body) and diabetes (high blood sugar).
- Azithromycin is contraindicated during pregnancy and lactation (breastfeeding).
- The usual dose of Azithromycin is 500 mg a day for 3 to 10 days, and it depends upon the infection being treated.
- The dose of Azithromycin may be lower for the pediatric patient (children) and the person having liver or kidney problems.
- The capsule of Azithromycin should be taken at least 1 hour before a meal or 2 hours after eating.
- The tablet or liquid preparation can be taken with or without food.
- If you forget to take your usual dose, then leave out the missed dose and take the next dose of medication as per your routine.
- Never take a dose higher than the prescribed dose or 2 doses at the same time.
- Continue the medication until the course of therapy is completed, even if you feel good. Stopping the treatment in early-stage can increases the risk of infection.
- For safe use of Azithromycin, tell your doctor if you are taking any herbal remedies and nutritional supplements.
Concluding, Azithromycin is listed in the WHO list of essential medicines as a safe and effective drug in comparison to other macrolides antibiotic for the treatment of bacterial infections.
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